Uber has admitted that its self-driving vehicles perform illegal and potentially dangerous right turns.
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In an email to The Guardian, an Uber spokeswoman admitted that its self-driving cars have a "problem" when they turn across bike lanes, but said that the ride-sharing firm was working on a fix.

When Brian Wiedenmeier, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, had a trial ride in one of Uber's self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs, he noted that the car performed a "hook-style" right turn through a bike lane.

This is regarded as an unsafe practice, and is said to be "one of the primary causes of collisions between cars and people who bike resulting in serious injury or fatality".

Not only that, but Californian state law requires that drivers to merge with a bike lane before turning right into a cross street.

right-hook-turn-warning-diagram

Uber has since informed Wiedenmeier and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition that it has instructed "'safety drivers' in these vehicles have been instructed to disengage from self-driving mode when approaching right turns on a street with a bike lane and that engineers are continuing to work on the problem".

Last week, Uber began trialling its self-driving car technology on the streets of San Francisco, with a limited number of self-driving Volvo XC90 crossovers available for hire through the company's ride-hailing app.

The company was immediately ordered to stop the trial by California's DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) as it had not obtained the necessary permits.

Within a day of the trial's launch, videos and stories began emerging about Uber's self-driving car breaking road rules, including running red lights.

Despite this, Uber has continued with its self-driving vehicle trial.

Uber continues to argue that California's regulations define an autonomous vehicle as one that doesn't require "the active physical control or monitoring by a human operator", and that "self-driving Ubers operate in the same way as vehicles equipped with advanced driver assist technologies, for example Tesla auto-pilot and other OEM’s traffic jam assist".